Officials of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation say that Barakah plant’s construction is on schedule, with Units 3 and 4 ahead of schedule. Image Credit: Enec

Abu Dhabi: Construction work on the UAE’s first nuclear power plant is now more than 75 per cent complete, the state-run Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said on Saturday.

Rising from the desert sands in the eastern part of Abu Dhabi emirate, the Barakah plant is set to come online by 2020.

The nuclear plant is expected to provide for a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs — and save up to 12 million tonnes in carbon emissions every year.

Construction began in 2012 by a consortium of builders led by the South Korean power giant Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Work on the four-reactor plant is divided into four units, all of which are being built simultaneously.

On Units 3 and 4, which have the most distant construction deadlines, work is more than 50 per cent done. The roof on Unit 3’s reactor vessel — which houses the reactor core — has recently been installed. Last July, the unit’s reactor vessel was installed.

In Unit 4, the turbine generator operating deck and reactor containment liner plates have been set in place.

Officials of the ENEC say that Barakah plant’s construction is on schedule, with Units 3 and 4 ahead of schedule.

“The latest successful achievement of these milestones for Units 3 and 4 is a result of many months of hard work by all those involved,” said ENEC chief Mohammad Al Hammadi.

“I am proud of our teams whose commitment and dedication is a key factor in the continued successful construction of the world’s largest nuclear new build construction site.”

The nuclear energy project will help create high-value job opportunities and help spark the “emergence of a new sophisticated industrial sector” to support the plant, Al Hammadi said.

Once completed, officials expect the plant to deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE grid.